As we age, we lose our sense of thirst. By 50, our bodies may lose kidney function, making it challenging to conserve fluids. Our skin exhibits signs of wrinkling and sagging when our body becomes deprived of water. However, this is more apparent in younger people than our older loved ones, making it harder to identify dehydration earlier in age. As a result, Vancouver seniors are more susceptible to dehydration, especially during the summer when the weather is heating up, and we’re bound to excrete more water. In terms of senior care, there are many ways to ensure that they retain enough water for the day but here are a few things to keep in mind to reduce the risk of dehydration:
Senior Care: What Are The Signs Of Dehydration?
While there aren’t a lot of obvious visual cues to help us recognize when our loved ones should rehydrate, we can understand a few behavioural changes that could indicate symptoms of dehydration.
- Display of confusion, agitation, or grouchiness
- Heavier breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
Who Is More Susceptible To Dehydration And Why?
While ageing is a significant factor that makes one vulnerable to hydration, those who have diabetes or are under medication for chronic illnesses may need to be more attentive to how often they should hydrate. When your medication is a diuretic, this is especially true, making individuals increase excretion of water from the body, including sweat and urine. In addition, individuals who experience other symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea will need to be more vigilant to drink more water.
How To Retain Water
It’s become an old wives’ tale to drink eight glasses of water to be truly hydrated. However, we’ve come to know that the amount of water that one should drink is dependent on our body size and weight. While we may not be able to provide exact measurements of how much water each individual should consume in a day, we should also note that there are other ways to obtain water. We tend to forget that the water in the fruits and vegetables we eat contributes to our daily water intake. And so, to optimize health and prevent dehydration, seniors should include more water-based foods, including:
- Skim Milk
- Broth & Soups
- Plain Yogurt
In sum, it is essential to drink plenty of water whenever possible. Seniors should keep a bottle of water by their side, whether going out or by their bedside, to remind themselves to hydrate.
How To Keep Moving In the Heat
It’s important to keep our bodies moving, especially in old age. However, when the weather is warming up, seniors should also be mindful of exercising wisely. As mentioned earlier, older individuals have a more difficult time retaining water. So while breaking a sweat may be good, be sure to be conscious of not sweating too profusely. Here’s how you can do this:
- Take breaks. Enjoy the scenery, but go at a steady pace.
- Choose cooler synthetic fibres like cotton for more breathable wear
- Wear light-coloured clothing to reflect heat off from the body
Summertime can be a lovely season, as long as we can care for ourselves and our loved ones. Water is the most important source of life, and we should continue to keep this in mind as we enjoy the sunshine. Feel free to contact Lynn Valley Care Centre for more senior care tips!